I was recently introduced to the late great copywriter, Gary Halbert.
He was known as the Prince of Print, the greatest copywriter of all time, the most ripped-off copywriter (or is that John Carlton?).
Coming on 10 years after his passing, he is still inspiring thousands of up and coming copywriters (including yours truly).
Basically the dude was a badass. GH knew how to make money better than just about anyone on the planet...
One of the Prince's legendary schemes was the creation of his monthly newsletter. Which was aptly named " The Gary Halbert Newsletter".
Before he passed away, he sold subscriptions to said newsletter for the low price of $185 a month and without even advertising it, amassed thousands of subscribers.
(At least HE says he didn't advertise it- Gary was a MASTER self promoter and really that is one of the most interesting things about him. He advertised his newsletter in Success magazine and other places like that.)
Eventually he decided to sell "lifetime subscriptions" for only $2799.00, and before long everyone and their mother was a lifetime subscriber.
There's a reason why these people forked over thousands of dollars...
Now all of his letters are available for free if you google the Gary Halbert Newsletter. I have been reading them non-stop since I discovered this...
At the very beginning of this whole newsletter dealio, Gary published a series of letters which he sent to his youngest son Bond while he was spending time in prison for an unknown crime. (Maybe it was writing insanely badass copy).
(UPDATE: The crime was mail fraud)
These letters are known as "The Boron Letters".
Named after the prison where he spent his time, it's these letters and the subsequent book he published which is the compilation of all the letters. Gary tries to teach his son all about important parts of life like exercise, nutrition, other assorted life lessons, and most importantly...
How to make a butt load of money.
I strongly encourage you to read his newsletters if you are at all interested in marketing and business, or if you just want an entertaining and educational read.
But I digress, lets get back to reason you're here...his ultimate money making secret,
Here is the very simple secret in a nutshell marketers have used to become filthy, dirty rich...
Are you ready? Good.
You must first start with a study of the markets. Find out what people are already BUYING ( not what they say they're buying...big difference).
Then you simply find a way to sell more of it to them.
Now before you say "wait Ben, that's it? That's the big secret? Thanks for wasting my time D-Bag", think about it for a second...
Think of how most people go about marketing their products and services COMPLETELY BACKWARDS!
Think about it.
Most people start with their products and then they look for the customers to buy them.
You can be extremely passionate about underwater basket weaving, but how big is that market?
Like 400 people in the whole world maybe?
For starters, there simply aren't enough people interested in that "subculture".
Even if there was one media source where they ALL hung out, AND it was relatively affordable to reach them, we're missing a crucial element...
We have no way of knowing if they're buyers or not!
The second point is we would have to be selling a very high ticket item to these 400 people to make any money. ..
My guess is underwater basket weavers aren't exactly flying around in private jets.
The best way therefore is to study the markets and see what people are actually buying. One service you can subscribe to is the SRDS ( Standard rates and Data service).
Look at the lists of what people are buying and more importantly, how much they are spending.
You should also find out how recently they bought said product, and how often they buy similar products.
To quickly summarize, we want to know how many people are interested in our market.
Next we want to know how many people are buying products like the one we are selling.
How much are they spending? How often do they buy? Did they buy something like what we're selling recently?
So here is the correct way I have learned on how the professionals make shocking amounts of money...the more you think about it the more it makes sense.
You first start with an angle. Next, you create the sales and marketing materials, and THEN you make the product. This is all after you have identified the "hot markets" of course.
Think about bottles of water for a second, they are all the same product essentially, water...So how come you buy some bottles of water for 25 cents and other bottles of water for $5? The answer all comes down to the angle.
An angle is simply a unique look on a product.
In the case of the water, it could be...
-how often the water is filtered
-what ingredients are added to the water
-where the water comes from
-the context of where the water is sold (sold at a fine restaurant compared to a vending machine at Costco).
-or who the water is sold to. (a man in the desert will be more willing to spend 5$ for example)
The interesting thing to note with the list above is that the price is completely in YOUR control.
Always start with an angle, then work out the marketing materials, and then go out and find a product...at the end of the day the holy trio of direct response marketing is Message-Media-Market.
When you have identified the market, you work on the message ( angle). Then you work on how to best deliver that message to where your target market lives ( whether that be on Facebook, direct mail, television, Twitter, etc).
Remember, people don't buy products, they buy messages.
"Hey buy this cool widget, and it will have xyz benefit on your life"
So that's it.
Take this information and use it however you want, hopefully you don't use it for too much evil...
And also check out the Gary Halbert Newsletter ( its 100% free, I don't get anything for recommending it, its just so badass)
Until next time,
Psst, one more thing!
I just officially published my first book on Amazon, The Sales Blueprint!
If you want more good stuff like what I mentioned in this post, definitely check it out here.